As though a rock had been lifted and there were green shoots beneath’
This is how Sara, who we met in the Northern Syrian town of Kobanê, described the 2012 revolution, when the authoritarian Syrian regime withdrew control and the Kurds were able to set up their own autonomous organisations.
It is an image of oppression lifted, but also of a new world that had long gestated in hiding, waiting for the opportunity to grow. Just two years later, the Kurdish areas came under attack from ISIS, and Kobanê became famous as the first place ISIS suffered a major defeat. Sara stayed in the town through the siege to cook for the fighters and prepare dead bodies for burial. She is active in Kongreya Star, the confederation of organisations that is helping ensure women play a full role in the new society. Sarah Glynn visited Kobanê as a guest of Kongreya Star, whose symbol looks down on this scene. The most ruined area of the town is being left as a memorial to the siege. When she walked through it, a family handed her a white rose, which she pressed as her own memento of this powerful place.
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